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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Less Than the Sum of Its Parts

From the duo of Nicola Fornasari (Italy) and Alexandru Hegyesi (Romania)

Ambient music is often, purposefully, less than the sum of its parts: small elements that in combination seem to distract from each other, creating a void where, with a slight adjustment, instead there might have been fierce collisions and considerable density. Listening to the brittle, elegant, just-shy-of-neutral glisten that is “Alunecând din glasul unui înger” (or “Sliding the Voice of an Angel,” translated from the Romanian), the ear moves from rough textures to echoed piano to ringing phones to piping rhythmic elements, none of which last long enough to serve as a point of orientation. Instead, one meanders through a gentle, ever so slightly worrisome landscape. Hard to believe this is more than one person making this little sound, but it is both Alexandru Hegyesi, who goes by Shanyio, and Nicola Fornasari, who goes by Xu. Hegyesi is credited with piano and “fx” and Xu with “amplified objects, bells and pedal effects.” The track is the final one off a recent Shanyio album, Pribegie (which means “wandering”), available at

More from Xu/Fornasari at and from Shanyio/Hegyesi at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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